Joe Burrow Sep 11, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) walks between plays during the fourth quarter of a Week 1 NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals have a strong and notorious AFC North divisional rivalry, so fans have come to expect some hard hits and extracurricular plays in those hard-fought games. But a hit from Steelers’ defensive end T.J. Watt on Bengals’ star quarterback Joe Burrow seems to have caught the attention of the NFL world.

After a Bengals turnover on Sunday afternoon – one of their five in the game – Burrow was jogging towards the Steelers ball carrier to try to make a play. Suddenly, Watt came from the side and put a huge block on Burrow, apparently targeting the Cincinnati quarterback for a big hit when he got the chance.

Technically, the hit was completely legal. After the interception, Burrow is considered a defender just like everyone else and once he started running towards the ball carrier, he opened himself to being blocked just like every other Bengals player on the field.

However, Watt clearly took the opportunity to put a big hit on the quarterback when he had the chance instead of making an arguably more legitimate block on Bengals center Ted Karras, who was closer to the play and had a better chance of making the tackle than Burrow.

In any case, the NFL world had plenty to say about the big hit.

Watt suffered an injury later in the game, and many Bengals fans called it “karma” after this attempted hit on Burrow.

Ultimately, the Steelers won an ugly game in overtime as both kicking units struggled down the stretch. But these two teams will meet again later in the season in Pittsburgh. Surely that game will have plenty of fire to it, as well.

[Zach Ragan]